Friday, July 08, 2011

Sanook by the Lake

Nestled at the centre of Petaling Jaya is the relatively new commercial centre of the Plaza Kelana Jaya. It has all the elements to be a successful business centre. It is strategically located on Jalan SS7/13, off the Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), not far from the MAS Academy. The plaza is very well constructed. There are shops, office lots and provisions for nice restaurants. It also has a big and very pleasant square in the middle. And best of all, it abuts a very nice lake. Talk about good feng shui (风水), I think this place has it all. 

Yet the place was almost deserted. The shops were empty. The car parks were plentiful - still they charged for entry. The water front which is ideal for evening makan makan had only a few restaurants. The central square which should have been hustle and bustle on a weekend evening, looked dismally like this. I wonder what went wrong with the feng shui master.

We arrived there just before sunset and the scene over the lake was stunning. This picture below did not do full justice to the actual view.

We walked along the water front. As mentioned, there were not many restaurants. All of them were al fresco (outdoor) dining, for which the place is ideally suited. And I think almost all of them were western eateries. Two of the restaurants had group functions that evening (what a nice place to have a dinner function!). We picked one that did not. The place we settled in was the Sanook.

Sanook is a very nice eating place indeed. We got a table right at the water edge. It couldn't be more relaxing than this.

They also have a bar on the ground floor and a pub upstairs. At the time of my picture, both drinking spots were empty. Perhaps the night then was still young.

Dinner began with the "Walking Escargots". Perhaps it is so named because the snails were still alive before being cooked? Anyway, they were sauteed in garlic herb butter, and served with focaccia bread. I found the escargots rather overdone. They were somewhat hard and no longer juicy and succulent. But the sauce was good, especially dipped with the focaccia. But then, we ordered the escargot - not the bread.

The snails were followed by the Maharaja Caesar Salad. This was supposed to be a fusion salad with chicken masala in the normal Caesar. But we couldn't tell the difference whether it was masala or otherwise. The salad was good though. It was generous in Parmesan. 

For the main meal, we shared a pasta and a pizza. The pasta was spaghetti carbonara. It was sauteed in a rich cream sauce with mushroom, and topped with bacon strips and a raw egg. The egg made the pasta smooth and delicious. It was a wonderful pasta dish. It looked small, but the dish was deep and there was ample for the 3 of us.

The restaurant is apparently known for its wood fire oven pizza. We opted for "25th December Turkey". Perhaps it was still too early till Christmas, for we were in for a little disappointment. The pizza was not bad really. It had turkey ham, olive, smoked capsicum and 3 types of mushrooms (button, shitake and oyster).  The flavor was good. The mozzarella was adequate. But sadly, the crust was overdone and burnt - to the point of being slightly bitter. We commented this to the waiters and they blamed it to the wood fire. What the heck.. I thought that was their specialty!

Dessert was a tiramisu. It was served in a cocktail glass, topped with a wafer and a strawberry. It was sweet, soft and very flavorful. 

A nice cup of brewed coffee ended a very satisfying meal.

Sanook was great. OK, the meal was not perfect. There were glitches in the escargot and the pizza. But the overall experience - the water front, the fading sunset, the simmering night lights over the water, the al fresco dining in the most relaxing environment - made it a very nice evening out indeed. And we got all these specked in middle of Petaling Jaya!

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